Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Scramjet - ISRO crosses another milestone

ISRO today issued a press release that indicates that it has crossed yet another milestone, with the successful testing of the scramjet engine. No launches are scheduled yet, because the flight testing of this engine is expected to happen only by 2007.

Scramjet is a technology that helps the engine to breathe. Meaning take oxygen from the atmosphere, and use that to propel itself to space. This helps reduce the fuel that needs to be carried onboard the rocket or spacecraft. This reduces cost and also theoritically increases the load available for cargo, that needs to be shipped to space. But this engine will stop breathing once it crosses the atmosphere, but then the rocket doesnt need a lot of fuel to propel itself through the nothingness of space.

The scramjet apparently has been tested only by the US (NASA). But the web showed that Australia also has made some progress in this regard. I didnt do more searches, but i had read somewhere that Japan too was trying to further this technology.

Couple of thoughts and comments here. If this technology does reach fruition, will it impact the availability of oxygen in the atmosphere. I am assuming it will need a lot of oxygen to propel this spacecraft. The scramjet achieves Mach 10 speeds (10 times the speed of sound), and can easily be used to further military power.

India joins nations in supersonic race

Tags: scramjet, isro, nasa,usa, india, space, technology, australia

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